Lucy finds the advertisement – 25¢ for a unicorn – and dashes off to mail in her quarter. While she waits for her new friend to arrive, she decides to name him Sparkle, and plans all the amazing things they’ll do: going for rides, braiding his pink mane, and taking him to show and tell. But when Sparkle arrives, he’s not quite what Lucy had imagined. He’s smaller, for one; he smells and has fleas for another. He won’t let her ride him, and he eats the flowers and tutu she puts on him. Frustrated, she decides to send her troublesome pet back… but will she have the heart to say goodbye?
This was a great little story! It’s a funny tale on the surface (Sparkle is, quite obviously, a goat), but it carries a great message about pet ownership and friendship in general: when Sparkle doesn’t live up to Lucy’s idealization of a “unicorn,” she is quick to dismiss him. However, after forming a bond with him, finding the things she likes about him, and ultimately seeing how broken-hearted he is to be sent away, she realizes that even though he’s not perfect, Sparkle loves her and she loves him. It’s a great metaphor about being a good friend despite imperfections, and being responsible for creatures you’ve promised to care for, and I loved it. The illustrations are charming and funny, the length is great, and JJ adored it. All in all a winner, especially for those who would enjoy a different sort of unicorn story. Baby Bookworm approved!